Commercial banks are increasingly focusing on promoting the use of credit and other cards.

Under a tie-up with low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam allows payments for tickets at 1,000 of its ATMs.

The Vietnam International Bank, or VIB, launched the Electronic Wallet this year in coordination with Mobivi Company and Viettravel Tourism Company that allows online payments for tours.

VIB has also signed agreements with nearly 20 other firms for payment by Mobivi.

By July more than 17 million ATM cards had been issued in the country and 8,800 ATM machines set up, with more than 1.132 million employees receiving their salaries through bank accounts, the State Bank of Vietnam said.

However, non-cash payments are yet to become popular, with cash remaining the main method of payment for most companies and individuals.

Though the number of people using ATM cards has already passed the 2010 target, they use them only to withdraw cash, the central bank said.

The quality and convenience of non-cash payment method remain limited, while online payment services like mobile banking, internet banking, and E-Wallet are yet to become popular, the bank admitted.

Developing non-cash payment systems would help customers and the banking system save the cost of keeping cash and counting it, and improve the safety and transparency of transactions in line with international standards, it said.

Internet banking, mobile banking, home banking, phone banking and other card and e-payment services are all available in the market, bankers should find appropriate measures to expand non-cash payment method.

The network of vendors accepting cards also needs to be enlarged to enable the wider use of cards for buying goods and services, it added./.